Rescued from local pounds in Cyprus and Turkey, Jack and Claire bought their new owner to tears when they first met as she knew how much better their lives were going to become. Now living with Susan in Aberdeenshire, they quickly demonstrated what talented Canicross competitors they would become, and how they’d balance either other out perfectly with their naughty and nice double act.
“Jack, now thirteen years old, was rescued in 2017, and Claire, who is four, joined us in 2021. Jack was spotted in a village pound by a lovely local English lady who quickly realised that he was starving, terrified and as it Friday no one would be back until the Monday. He had no shelter from the sun, no food and no water so the lady returned a couple of times over the weekend to throw food over the fence and got Jack out first thing on Monday morning. Claire was handed in by her owner and was spotted by a local lady being attacked by other dogs. She then went though a tough winter with another group of rescued Pointers which was a tricky situation, but six months later she finally made it to me in the UK.
I was completely overwhelmed when I first met Jack, he was extremely thin and scared of his own shadow – loud noises terrified him and outside was a scary place. A few weeks in Jack’s confidence began to grow so I decided to take him along to Canicross and he absolutely loved it. He has now raced all over the UK with me and won lots of medals, Jack loves a podium! I have also dabbled in local non-affiliated dog shows and Jack absolutely adores this, he struts and stacks like a professional. I often wonder if he had been a show dog in Cyprus!
Quite soon after Jack joined us my partner was diagnosed with early onset dementia and Jack, being so loving in nature, became the best companion for him when he had to give up work. They would go on walks together and my partner would always tell everyone how much he loved Jack. My own mental health was helped massively by having Jack too – always happy to come for a walk, unless it’s raining, taking him out gave me time alone when I needed it to help catch my breath during difficult times. Being part of the Canicross community has been a great support too and I’ve met many new people and developed close friendships over the years.
I decided to add Claire to the family when Jack was eleven and I was retiring him from Canicross so wanted a new younger partner. I was also worried that he was missing our first Pointer who had sadly passed away and was getting lonely. When we went to collect Claire it was like she already knew us, she immediately started barking and trying to see through the front of the vehicle. I was handed this skinny dog and like with Jack, immediately felt overwhelming love. We got home at 3am and when my nosey cat unexpectedly made an entrance, Claire went into full point! The next day a baby gate was installed for the cat’s safety and I had to put all my rescue knowledge into full practise, including Claire wearing a lead in the house for two weeks. She is the absolute opposite of Jack, super confident and a bit of a tornado!
I took Claire along to Canicross earlier than planned as I felt her energy needed to be directed somewhere constructive. Like Jack, she immediately loved it and I soon realised I had a dog with a very quick pace on my hands, I wasn’t sure my legs would keep up! Our first race was when dogs could still do ParkRun, we came fifth overall and first dog/Lady – I never dreamed of being First Lady at ParkRun. After this we did our first official CaniCross race where we won gold.
Fast forward 18 months and we’ve competed for Team GB at the European Championships in Germany, holding our own amongst predominantly purpose bred CaniCross racing dogs. Claire took the journey, the atmosphere and the race all in her stride, nothing phases her!
Claire is an absolute love bug and loves nothing more than attempting to climb up on my lap and throws herself down for a hug or tummy tickle. She is the Yin to Jack’s Yang and a complete opportunist on the food front. We’ve had a trip to the vets after Claire ate grapes off the kitchen table – this involved drips, the sickness injection and a private nurse. She has also eaten a wooden spoon off the draining board and chocolate out of a sealed parcel!
When travelling we often share accommodation with other competitors and Claire has gained the title of naughtiest dog of the trip on a few occasions. Jack genuinely looks like he’s raising his eyes to the sky in a “What has she done now” expression! His recall became 100% after Claire arrived, which I think is because he wants to be the goody two shoes. They are both fantastic together and have turned my life around in so many ways.
Looking back at my experiences with Pointers In Need, I found the rehoming process much simpler and more straight forward than I thought it would be. I always felt supported and that all my questions were answered quickly and honestly. The Facebook pages offer amazing support and the Pointer community as a whole are a great bunch of people, it’s great to feel part of a group where you can always get advice and share stories.”